PRINEVILLE, OR -- Hundreds of workers laid off suddenly from Woodgrain Millwork last week are now without health benefits. In response, the Crook County Health Department and Mosaic Medical are hosting a health insurance enrollment event this evening to help former employees sign up for coverage through the federal exchange. Ruby Ruiz, with the Crook County Health Department says, "We decided Wednesday afternoon that it was something we could do for the millworkers who were notified Tuesday that their benefits were going to be terminated." She says those workers weren't given any advance notice before they lost health coverage: "As of what we were told, they’re benefits terminated at midnight Tuesday night. They didn’t even get a thirty day notice their benefits would be terminated. There’s hundreds of them without insurance right now."
Ruiz says at tonight's event, "We’ll have computers available for them to use, depending on what assistance they need. We can answer questions, or assist them in signing up through the portal." Tonight's event starts at 5 p.m. at the COCC Computer Lab on SE Lynne Blvd in Prineville. Based on the response, the health department may decide to hold another event prior to the December 15th deadline for coverage to take effect January 1, 2015.